From Ohio, USA:
I have 3 1/2 year old identical twins. Five months ago one of them was diagnosed with IDDM. At that time I was told that the second twin had a 30-50% chance developing diabetes. Five months later the other got it. If Type 1 is genetic but is triggered by an environmental factor, then wouldn't it be safe to assume that the younger the child is when he/she develops diabetes, the greater the chance of an identical twin developing diabetes also would be? I can see as they get older it would be possible for twins to be exposed to separate environmental factors, but when they are very young that generally does not happen.
Your logic is impeccable. I'm not aware of any specific studies that prove your theory but it is known that, whatever the genetics, the risk of developing diabetes falls even in individuals who are islet cell antibody positive, i.e., there is indirect evidence of an "immune attack" on their islet cells.
Original posting 30 Mar 97
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